Akin to ancient Rome, the United States has over-extended herself. She has created a climate that could easily be transformed into a war on a slight pretext. Wars, as it is well known are also a means a nation can extricate itself from debt and financial responsibility. The dying Petrodollar system has been on life support for some time, and it appears other nations such as the BRIC’s are taking the initiative to return to a true monetary standard. This is the same gold and silver standard that the U.S. should never have left in the first place.
In order to attract and retain small and big business alike, it's long been a tactic by states and local governments to offer tax breaks. However, as times have got tough - and rules have changed - in Obama's "recovery", government subsidies to their cronies - of at least $50 million - have plummeted by 70% Bloomberg reports.
For those who thought that the world's biggest company losing over $40 billion in market cap in an instant on disappointing Apple earnings, would have been sufficient to put a dent in US equity futures, we have some disappointing news: with just over 7 hours until the FOMC reveals its April statement, futures are practically unchanged, even though the Nasdaq appears set for an early bruising in the aftermath of what is becoming a disturbing quarter for tech companies. Instead of tech leading, however, the upside has once again come from the energy complex where moments ago WTI rose above $45 a barrel for the first time since November after yesterday's unexpected 1.07 million barrel API inventory drawdown.
Futures are currently unchanged, but the E-mini was down as much as 12 points less than two hours earlier after the European open when this time it was up to the PBOC to intervene in global markets by pushing the Yuan higher (selling USDCNY via intermediary banks) sending global stocks sharply higher off session lows and leaving the S&P futures virtually unchanged. As Bloomberg reported, there has been increasing USD/CNY selling in afternoon session as Dollar Index edged lower. This is the PBOC entering the building and levitating stocks.
Would the world survive President Hillary?
- Gloomy start to results season hits shares (Reuters)
- Stocks Rise Around World as Commodities Advance; Bonds, Yen Drop (BBG)
- Oil hits 2016 high above $43 on producer meeting hopes (Reuters)
- Rosneft chief Igor Sechin says low oil prices will not last (FT)
- Banks Face Massive New Headache on Oil Loans (WSJ)
- Wells Fargo Misjudged the Risks of Energy Financing (BBG)
- Stocks up as investors look to end bruising week on a high (Reuters)
- Treasuries Set for Two-Week Gain; Greenspan Warns of Global Risk (BBG)
- Yellen, alongside Fed alum, says rate hikes on track (Reuters)
- Oil Prices Lifted by Fed Comments on U.S. Economy (WSJ)
- China says G20 summit should be about economics, not politics (Reuters)
- Cameron Accused of Hypocrisy for Stake in Father's Offshore Fund (BBG)
World military expenditures rose to $1.7 trillion in 2015, an increase of about 1% from last year. According to SIPRI, this was the first increase in global military spending since 2011. Unsurprisingly, the United States earned the top spot by a ridiculous margin, spending a gargantuan $596 billion in 2015 (for which the military industrial complex - the recipient of the funds - is eternally grateful). The US is followed by China, and Saudi Arabia who spent an estimated $215 billion and $87.2 billion respectively.
NATO isn’t just an expensive luxury of the sort we can no longer afford – it is a tripwire that could be set off by a minor border conflict involving Moldova, the status of Kaliningrad, or – more likely – another round of hostilities in Ukraine. Would we start World War III in defense of the oligarchs of Kiev? I wouldn’t put it past them. With his plan – or, rather, inclination – to abandon the old NATO and replace it with some sort of multilateral counterterrorist operation, and his insistence that our “allies” pay up, Trump is forcing an issue onto the stage that hasn’t been seen since the days of Bob Taft.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to former secretary of state, Colin Powell, has grown tired of "the corporate interests that we go abroad to slay monsters for." Today’s war machine "is more pernicious than Eisenhower ever thought it would be," Wilkerson laments “we’ve privatized the ultimate public function: war.”
Now that Yellen has taken us back to square one where the worse the news, the better for assets, the latest announcement by Boeing, which overnight announced it will eliminate about 4,000 jobs in its commercial airplanes division by the middle of this year and another roughly 550 jobs in a division that conducts flight and lab tests, should help push the iconic ExIm bank-supported company's shares to new 2016 highs.
- Terror Network’s Web Sprawls Beyond Brussels and Paris (WSJ)
- Dollar firms, Asia stocks slip as U.S. data, Fed comments awaited (Reuters)
- Pakistanis hunt militants behind blast that killed at least 70 (Reuters)
- Biden-Clinton Friction Hangs Over Campaign (WSJ)
- Japan opens radar station close to disputed isles, drawing angry China response (Reuters)
- Google Search Technique Aided N.Y. Dam Hacker in Iran (WSJ)
This morning's Brussels suicide attacks have led to risk-off sentiment across European asset classes, with Bunds higher and equities firmly in the red, although if the Paris terrorist attacks of November are any indication, today's tragic events may be just the catalyst the S&P500 needs to surge back to all time highs. FX markets have also been dominated by events in Brussels, with USD and JPY strengthening, while EUR and GBP softening throughout the European morning.
A Boeing 737-800 operated by Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, flying from Dubai to Russia, crashed yesterday at 0340 local time (0040 GMT) on its second attempt to land at Rostov-on-Don airport on Saturday, Russian officials said. All 62 people on board, most of whom were Russian. were killed. "The aircraft hit the ground and broke into pieces," the Investigative Committee of Russia said in a statement on its website.
What remains most remarakable about Horseman Capital is that even as it modestly boosted its gross exposure to 59%, as of February the fund's net short exposure has risen from what was a previous record of 76%, to a whopping -88%, an unprecedented record even for one of the world's most bearish hedge funds!